Big pickups plow way for robust vehicle sales in U.S.
DETROIT — Buyers snapped up new cars and trucks in June at a pace not seen since before the recession.
Continuing demand for big pickups helped boost sales for Detroit's automakers. Ford said Tuesday that its sales rose 14 percent, while Chrysler's gained 8 percent and General Motors' rose 6.5 percent.
Japanese automakers reported solid gains as well. Nissan's sales jumped 13 percent, while Toyota's and Honda's each rose 10 percent. South Korea's Hyundai reported a record June, with sales up 2 percent.
Only Volkswagen's sales dropped 3 percent, the third straight monthly decline for the German car company, as some products such as the Jetta start to age.
Other automakers will report sales later Tuesday.
Analysts say they don't see much that could slow the sales momentum of the first six months. The factors that juiced sales — low interest rates, wider credit availability, rising home construction and hot new vehicles — are likely to remain in place. So far, hiccups in the stock market, higher taxes and fluctuating gas prices haven't dampened demand.
“I think the fundamentals for continued growth in the new vehicle sales industry are intact,” Reid Bigland, Chrysler's U.S. sales chief, said last week.
Analysts estimate that U.S. auto sales rose 6 percent to 8 percent in June compared with the same month last year. The auto pricing site TrueCar.com predicts that dealers sold cars and trucks at an annualized rate of 15.7 million last month, the best rate since December 2007.
Sales of pickups — which have been selling at a rate three times faster than the rest of the industry has — continued at a strong pace in June.
Ford sold just over 68,000 F-Series trucks, up 24 percent from last June and its best June for trucks since 2005. GM said sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 29 percent to 43,259, while Chrysler Group sold nearly 30,000 full-size Ram pickups, up 24 percent from last June. Small businesses have been replacing their aging trucks as home construction has picked up.
Young graduates may have contributed to a rise in small car sales, said Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez. Gas prices, which averaged $3.60 a gallon nationwide in June and were higher than a year ago, may have steered some buyers to more fuel-efficient models, he said.
Sales of Ford's recently updated Fiesta subcompact more than doubled to 9,363, while sales of the subcompact Honda Fit were up 10 percent. Sales of the Hyundai Elantra small car jumped 26 percent to more than 22,000.
Consumer confidence hit a six-year high in June.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Black Friday loosens its hold on the holiday season
- German financial giant Allianz SE slashes coal investments
- Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
- Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
- Stocks shake off Middle East tensions, drop in consumer confidence
- Coke had hand in shaping nonprofit health group, emails show
- New rules proposed for high-speed traders
- Powder metals fabricator Atlas Pressed Metals diversifies appeal to customers
- Mall stores required to open for Thanksgiving
- Feds upgrade GDP’s growth
- Not all in support of UAW contracts